PHABC Conference 2019

The Public Health Association of BC is proud to announce our annual fall conference:


Simplifying Complexity:

Public Health Approaches and Practice in Complex Systems

Conference & Annual General Meeting

November 14th & 15th, 2019

The Sutton Place Hotel

Vancouver, BC


Call for Abstracts has been extended!

Click here to submit yours before September 23rd!

Registration on now, click here to register today!



Once again, the Public Health Association of BC would like to invite everyone to attend our fall conference and annual general meeting, happening this year at the Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver on November 14th and 15th, 2019. We will also host a free public event on November 13th , 2019 as the unofficial opening to the conference (location to be determined). This year’s theme will build on that of our annual summer school, “Simplifying Complexity: Public Health Approaches & Practice in Complex Systems,” and will explore sub-themes of food systems & security, immunization & infectious disease control, wicked problems in health equity, and overdose response & safe supplies.


The PHABC conference provides the opportunity for professionals throughout the province to meet, mingle, and learn through a unique combination of keynote presentations, case studies, symposia and hands-on workshops. The conference aims to teach attendees how to identify complex systems in their work using complex adaptive systems thinking while simultaneously showcasing innovative and collaborative methods of promoting health at the population level.






Complexity science is the study of systems and problems that are dynamic, unpredictable and multi-dimensional, and have interconnected relationships and parts. The study of complex adaptive systems (CAS) occurs within the paradigm of complexity science. In the challenging and changing times of public health practice today, practitioners can benefit from embracing and understanding how complexity science can support improved and proactive quality of care. There are many examples of complex public health issues, including pandemics and climate change. The problems targeted by preventive interventions are often complex, embedded in multiple levels of social and environmental context, and cover the developmental lifespan. The norm for much of public health services is to address complex issues in silos restricting potential for real change. Common individual responses to complex problems can be to give up, assign blame, or oversimplify solutions. Instead, we need to approach complex problems together, using our best collective responses and resources. Understanding CAS theory can be useful for public health practice. CAS frameworks can put complex problems into context, and promote shared understandings and approaches that recognize interconnectedness, interdependence, and collective responsibility.


The theme and sub themes were introduced at our annual summer school, if you missed out, we have posted presentations from summer school speakers on our website; click here or follow the below link to check them out (please note not all presentations are available).






Early Bird registration has now closed and regular registration rates now apply.  Click here or copy the link below to register today.

2019 Registration Rates*  
2 days PHABC member $390.00
2 days Non-member $485.00
2 days senior/student PHABC member $315.00
2 days senior/student Non-member $350.00
1 day registration PHABC members $200.00
1 day registration non-members $275.00
1 day senior/student PHABC member $175.00
1 day senior/student NON member $205.00

*including GST

Call for Abstracts


Thank you to everyone who has already submitted their abstract.

For those who missed the deadline, you’re in luck! Our call for abstracts has been extended until Monday September 23rd, 2019 at 5pm PST.  Individuals and groups are invited to submit abstracts for one or more of the following presentation format(s):

  • Oral presentation (15-20 minutes)
  • Poster presentation
  • Workshop (1.5 hours)
  • Symposia (1.5 hours)


If you have research on or are part of a promising practice you think aligns with our conference theme we would welcome your contribution to our dialogue. The conference organizers request that you submit abstracts that align with one or more of the four sub-themes of the conference; however, additional sub-themes may also be identified from the selected abstracts.


click here or follow the link below to read the submission guidelines and submit your abstract today!



Based on the restricted opportunities for oral presentations, we strongly encourage applicants to consider structuring their proposals, particularly if they are practice-based research, around the poster format. The poster session will be designed as a ‘walk-about’ in order to structure maximum interaction with the presenters and their work. Workshops and Symposia are intended to be an opportunity to discuss a particular topic related to the conference themes in detail and/or to build skills or resources in relation to a conference theme.



Sponsorship Opportunities


Our conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors each year and we would like to thank all our past sponsors for your support of this important public health event. If you are interested in sponsoring this year’s conference please contact Christina Harding at to learn about our sponsorship tiers and incentives. All sponsors will have their logo’s printed on the conference program & other promotional material (online & in print), will receive special recognition during the conference, and will receive at least one complimentary 2-day registration.




Keep checking back for more information as it becomes available and we look forward to seeing everyone in Vancouver this fall!